Anna Hillburg

Purchase HERE

For your listening pleasure, we humbly submit to you the debut solo album from Anna Hillburg (of San Francisco's power-pop darlings, Dreamdate).

A classically trained trumpet player, Anna has spent the last decade in the Bay Area garage rock scene as a songwriter, singer, drummer, and bass player. Her songs have been covered by the likes of Mates of State, and her trumpet playing has been featured on the albums of local artists such as The Dodos (Time to Die 2009), and Greg Ashley (Requiem Mass & Other Experiments 2010), and The Fresh & Onlys.

After years of collaborations and lending her talents out, Anna strikes out on her own with this impressive breakout album-- finding her unique voice while showcasing her talents as a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. The record was recorded over the course of two years on analog tape by Greg Ashley (Gris Gris) at the Creamery Studios in Oakland, California, and features guest appearances by Logan Kroeber (The Dodos), Joe Haener (Gris Gris), and Greg Moore (The Moore Brothers, Joanna Newsom).

Hillburg's songs are modern and fresh while also being eerily reminiscent of some of the best singer-songwriters of the classic era. She easily calls to mind the classic pop sensibilities of Harry Nillson, the romantic drama of Fleetwood Mac, the confessional lyricism of Joni Mitchell, and the effortless hooks of Paul McCartney--all without sacrificing her own strong and individual voice.

The 13 song album ranges from bittersweet ballads ("Raise the Saddle", "For Good"), to dance-pop ( "Wine in a Tea Cup"), to caustic folk ("Not Takin' Your Man") and beyond. This is a brave and straightforward collection of songs. Warm, rich, and comforting, Anna Hillburg's first solo album is poised for big things.

Release Date: March 25, 2013.Pressing Details: 500 pressed; black vinyl.

from the East Bay Express:

Anna Hillburg is a powerhouse: She writes, sings, and plays trumpet (as well as a bunch of other instruments). And on her self-titled debut album, Hillburg does all of these things with amazing skill.

The San Francisco musician — a member of all-girl pop trio Dreamdate who's played trumpet on albums by The Dodos and The Fresh & Onlys — presents a versatile collection of sincere pop songs that span different periods and styles, yet always feel like her own. The album's retro sound is further enhanced by its analog tape recording, courtesy of Oakland producer Greg Ashley. "Your Room" and "Bodies Behind" ooze with doo-wop longing; "Not Takin' Your Man" gallops into Western-tinged, Seventies rock; and the introspective ballad "For Good" and the catchy "All Night Long" reveal startling singer-songwriter moments. Even when Hillburg indulges in a few Eighties, FM-inspired dance tracks, like "Wine in a Tea Cup" (complete with Hall & Oates-style hand-claps), her timing and lyrics are silly enough to make it endearing.

That said, she manages to avoid the quirky/cute female songwriter trap of odes to cats and the beach and chasing boys — not that there isn't a large place in my heart for those songs, but Hillburg seems to know herself better than that. There's a rare humor in her lyrics, like how she describes her lover in "Swimming With You": You were wearing a hat/you looked so cool/and you kept it on in the pool.On top of everything, she's got a voice that, like Marianne Faithfull's, can both purr softly and reach incredible high notes.

from Deli SF:


Anna's new self titled album is a romantic mix of lounge inspired garage rock and avant folk melodies. Her voice is impressively is smooth, and her songs are well written and composed. Anna's new album also features members of Joanna Newsom and Gris Gris, making her new collection of songs a successful and strong representation of the Bay Area's talented music community.

from Cactus-Mouth:

Here’s a nice change of pace from the stuff I’ve been posting lately. Out of the vibrant San Francisco music scene comes the debut solo album from Anna Hillburg. Her self-titled album is a nice little amalgamation of various homespun music genres and is probably the warmest, most comfortable thing I’ve heard so far this year. You know that old sweater that’s covered in pills, snags and stains and yet it is your default choice on a chilly night? This album is that sweater.

I grew up on a steady diet of the music of Patsy Cline, Joni Mitchell, and Janis Joplin; and while Anna Hillburg doesn’t particularly sound like any of those ladies they are most assuredly her kindred spirits. There is a classic, laid-back vibe to this whole album as it moseys the grocery aisles of varying genres nonchalantly filling a shopping cart at will. A little folk here; some garage, pop, and country there; oh, don’t forget the doo-wop. It’s all touched on here in the most natural of manners and it blends really organically as well. In some ways it reminds of me of the music of one of my other favorite San Francisco bands: The Sandwitches. In other words, I’m in love.

from The Le Sigh:

When I was in high school, I had this iTunes playlist that was simply titled "Fields." It was meant for the transition of seasons from spring to summer, a time when all I wanted to do was spend time outside and lie in the many fields in our kind of rural but still suburban New Jersey town. It was filled with songs by artists like Hem, The Watson Twins, Joanna Newsom, Smoosh, and Slow Club that made me feel all kinds of dreamy warm weather vibes. Even though I first made the playlist in 2009, I still revisit the mix every May to get me excited for the summer months before I realize how horribly hot it gets on the East Coast. The first time I heard Anna Hillburg, I knew she would have fit perfectly within this selection of artists and songs.

Anna Hillburg has had a presence in music, specifically in San Francisco, for quite some time. According to her Bandcamp, before taking on the role of solo artist, she was half of the band Dreamdate and has lent her various skills to bands such as The Dodos and the Fresh & Onlys. It appears as if Anna can do it all – she can write, sing, and play a whole bunch of instruments (drums, bass, guitar, trumpet, and more). It seems like we've been listening to Anna without knowing it for quite some time. And after hearing her self-titled record, which was recently released on California Clap Records, I couldn't be happier that she decided to try her hand at solo artist. Although I find myself listening to more lo-fi and garagey music lately, Anna's ability to take on a new genre with every song reminds me how much love I have for female singer-songwriters.

If Anna had made an album that had sounded like one of the songs on Anna Hillburg, it would have been a great album. But she doesn't settle for just a singular sound. Instead, she takes different styles from different times and expands on them in roughly three or four minutes. She begins with the bittersweet "Your Room", which is drenched in upbeat piano and harmonies despite the despondent nature of the song. The third track, "For Good" is a twirling ballad that displays the beauty in Anna's voice (and her trumpet skills). "Not Takin' Your Man" is a stomping country ballad that's tinged with just enough banjo that it comes off as appealing rather than annoying (in my notes I said it was "hella country but in a cool way"). "Everyone's Eyes" is the album's farthest reach into rock territory and kind of sounds like a King Tuff song if you toned down the wildness. It's kind of unbelievable how much ground Anna is able to cover in just thirteen songs. The one constant thread that's evident throughout the album is that it's clear that Anna draws inspiration from female singers of the past. Unfortunately I'm not very knowledgable about the classics (Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Connie Francis, etc) so I'm going to go binge on this album and lady oldies for the next week.

from Austin Town Hall:

I’m a sucker for a female singer, especially one who can carefully craft a pop ditty with ease. This is much the case with San Francisco’s Anna Hillburg who just released her self-titled album on California Clap Records. ”Wine In a Tea Cup” is a pretty simple track here, pushed forth by a quiet drum track and some keyboard-ish accompaniment. She’s joined at times during the chorus by the perfectly placed backing vocal; all of this works together to make a joyous little number that you can definitely spin over and over again.

from Leg Guitar:

“no finer set of songs have we heard this year”

from Das Klienicum:

usprünglich ist anna hillburg klassisch ausgebildete trompeterin. schon eher ungewöhnlich. sie ließ dann zwar nicht davon ab, trierb sich aber vornehmlich (und eine halbe ewigkeit) in der garagerock szene der bay area herum. sie schrieb songs, sang diese, schlug auf drums ein und spielte bass. mates of state coverten u.a. ihre songs. dass sie nicht ganz ohne die trompete sein konnte, bewiesen ihre unterstützungsleistungen auf alben von the dodos ("time to die") oder greg ashley und the fresh and onlys. nachdem sie nun also eine weile ihr talent in den dienst von anderen gestellt hatte, schlug sie den solopfad ein, um ihre songwriter begabung und jene als multiinstrumentalistin unter beweis zu stellen.der aufnahmeprozess zog sich gut zwei jahre hin und wurde auf analog tape von greg ashley (gris gris) in den creamery studios von oakland dokumentiert. gäste auf dem album sind logan kroeber (the dodos), joe haener (gris gris) und greg moore ( the moore brothers, joanna newsom). im ergebnis haben wir ein dreizehn tracks umfassendes kompendium, das selbstbetitelt stolz die hauptakteurin auf dem cover zeigt und ende märz auf california clap records erschien.

die musik ist so entspannt wie unterhaltsam, so viel pop wie sie singer/songwriter ist. die traditionslinien sind schnell zu enttarnen und lassen sich vor allem an den sechzigern und siebzigern festmachen. die arrangements sind untermalend und heraushebend, befördernd, was den gesang von anna hillburg anbelangt. sie hat ein raues, manchmal schwer zu zähmendes organ. es ist fast, als wolle sie es immer wieder ausbrechen lassen. aber nicht in wilder geste, sondern im besinnlichen einzugsgebiet eines schmerzfreien ausfalls. die drummerin und sängerin der doodles und vor allem auch die eine hälfte der girlgroup dreamdate schafft ein vergnügen der besonderen art. die trompetenstösse, akzentuiert und auf den punkt, ergänzen diesen cleveren ausstoss um eine eigene note. die lieder gehen so schmissig und ohne abwehrgrund ins ohr, das man sie immer wieder auf dauerrotation bringen möchte. aufmerker sorgen für die nötige konzentration, das fein getunete drumming, das honky tonk klavier, die spinnerte orgel, das mutige banjo, handclaps. vom stomp über angebluestes und rockiges bis hin zum dreampop hat dieses album alles zu bieten, was auch nur in die bandbreite hillburgs geraten könnte, und die ist enorm.

für ein debütwerk ist das vorliegende erstaunlich, angesichts der karriere, die hillburg bis dato hingelegt hat, mehr als nachvollziehbar. hier hat jemand all das gebündelt, was ihm an musikalischer erfahrung widerfahren ist. gelungen.

as translated by Anna's German mother, Myra Hillburg:

They love you. -M

from OhFancy:

man kann es auf ihrem artwork bereits erkennen: diese frau nimmt die dinge gerne selbst in die hand.anna hillburg ist daher auch ein echtes kraftpaket. sie schreibt, singt und spielt trompete (sowie ein paar andere instrumente). und auf ihrem selbst betitelten debüt-album macht die dame aus san francisco alles richtig. die 13 songs reichen von bittersüßen balladen in ‘ for good ‘ oder ‘ raise the saddle ‘ über treibenden pop in ‘ wine in a tea cup ‘ zu kratzenden folk-melodien im stück ‘ instead ‘. ein beeindruckendes debüt.

und dazu die klare und zärtliche stimme von hillburg, die mit starker individualität und aufrichtigkeit den hörer komplett in den bann zieht. das gleichnamige debüt ist mindestens zwei komplette durchläufe wert und gleich damit anfangen könnt ihr an unten stehender stelle.


En plus d’être une figure de la scène garage de la baie de San Fransisco, Anna Hillburg, qui a entre autre collaboré avec The Fresh & Onlys et The Dodos, occupe l’activité de designer florale. C’est peut-être un détail mais à l’écoute de cet album qui risque d’accompagner un bon nombre de matinées ensoleillées ce printemps, le détail compte.

Aussi cul-cul qu’un chant d’oiseau, ce premier album pop, garage folk et doo-wop est une délectable sucrerie. De plus cette pochette est la meilleure qu’il nous ait été donné de voir depuis des lustres.